The port city of Incheon is typically the average visitor’s first introduction to South Korea. Home to the country’s main international airport, Incheon greets visitors by showing off what a modern country South Korea has become. With one of the world’s top-rated airports, one of the country’s largest underground shopping arcades and an attractive waterfront bursting with entertainment and dining options, Incheon sets the tone for an enjoyable vacation in South Korea.
Many visitors to the city will find themselves in the neighborhood of Bupyeong, where a flurry of restaurants, bars and the aforementioned underground shopping arcade offer unlimited ways to spend a day enjoying modern Korean culture. Another popular destination is the Arts Center District, home to performance venues, department stores, designer boutiques and restaurants.
Other gems abound, too. Incheon is home to the country’s only official Chinatown, and the neighboring Liberty Park and its statue of General MacArthur memorialize the history of Korea-U.S. relations. Also worth a visit is Independence Memorial Hall, a tribute to South Korea’s liberation from Japan.
Fun and frolic await at the island of Wolmido, where the waterfront beckons with amusement park rides, carnival games and seafood restaurants. Several other nearby islands offer hiking and nature walks, a contrasting experience to that which travelers find in the metropolis of Incheon.
Incheon is most enjoyable during the months of April, May, October and November. During these months, the weather is mild and generally sunny, though rain may fall here and there. The months of June, July, August and September can be uncomfortable as temperatures reach their peak and are heightened by increased humidity. December and January may be the cheapest times of year to visit Incheon, but travelers should keep in mind that the city regularly sees freezing temperatures and snowfall during these months.
Incheon has an extensive public transportation system that makes it easy to travel throughout the city. The underground subway system avoids the city’s traffic and is easily navigated by tourists. Kiosks sell transportation cards that can be loaded with credits and used for transfers between the subway and bus systems. Blue buses run between Incheon’s various districts, while small green buses stay within neighborhoods. Taxis are also plentiful and can be hailed from most streets. Meter use is standard, and taxi fare can be paid for with cash or, in many cases, a credit card.